Urban memory is the language in which a place and its inhabitants speak to each other. It doesn’t say much about how a city or any other urban space within it is, was, or could be; as much as it does about what its dwellers and any other actor involved in it wants them to be in the larger economic and sociopolitical context.
As opposed to the objectivity claimed by history, memory lines up with the ways in which groups, collectivities, and nations construct, relate to, and put forward particular narratives about historical periods, events, or identities.
Although the memory of a group might seem stable, enclosed and timeless, processes of memory production, in which some aspects of the past are remembered and highlighted and others are reinterpreted, neglected, or even forgotten are constant, dynamic, and interactional - if the past cannot be changed, the way to look at it certainly can, or even what is considered “valid” to look at.
Urban spaces and morphologies, as markers of identity, are not spared of being products and expressions of these narratives, affirming, contrasting or contesting the latter. As anthropologist Smriti Srinivas suggests, urban memory provides a "means of accessing how various strata of society and different communities construct the metropolitan world”.